Cargill recently doubled the size of its "food innovation center" in Plymouth, its main research facility for the North American packaged food and beverage industries.
Cargill's food ingredients operation is one of its two biggest businesses globally and one of its most research-intensive. The business has major R&D centers in Minnesota, China, Brazil and Belgium.
Minnetonka-based Cargill spent $5.5 million on the Plymouth expansion, creating a 40,000-square-foot facility with state-of-the-art research equipment and a fully equipped commercial kitchen. It opened earlier this month.
Cargill, the country's largest privately held company, will bring the majority of its North American food and ingredient research staff together in the remodeled center. Some of its researchers will also work with its customers' researchers at the site.
"We designed the facility so it is much easier to bring in outside customers, to bring in their scientists to work with ours and bring in marketing people, too," said Kerr Dow, Cargill's vice president of global food technology.
The food innovation center will provide ingredient expertise in several food categories, including snacks, cereal, bakery, confectionery and frying applications. "We have a big focus on frying oils," Dow said.